Studio Wikitecture is an open group, composed of a diverse range of individuals from varying disciplines, interested in exploring the application of a open-sourceparadigm to the design and production of both real and virtual architecture and urban planning.
Our group has, over the last year, been using the virtual world Second Life as a collaborative platform for conducting ‘Wikitecture’ projects to work out the exact procedures and protocols necessary to harness a group’s collective intelligence in designing architecture. In other words, in much the same way Wikipedia enables a loose, self-organizing network of contributors to collaborate on content creation, the Studio Wikitecture group has been using these projects to work out the manner by which a group of geographical disperse individuals can come together to share ideas, edit the contributions of others, and to vote on the success or failure of proposed design iterations.
To this end, for our third project we teamed up with the software designers,i3dnow, and developed a unique inworld interface and accompanying website. The ‘Wiki-Tree’ as we call it, acts as a version tracking system that works very much like a conventional Wiki, but instead of tracking text documents in a linear history as you see in Wikipedia, the ‘Wiki-Tree’ tracks versions of 3-dimensional models and saves them within a continually evolving 3-dimensional digital tree ‘canopy’. Along with version tracking of the various designs, the interface allows members to vote and leave comments around the evolving designs.
Here’s a quick video, giving a broad overview of how the inworld ‘Wiki-Tree’ works.